A Record Year For Small Grains in Montana


2020 has been an interesting year to say the least, and the Small Grains Summary maintains that trend for Montana. Record yields for barley and hard red winter wheat, record tying yield for hard red spring wheat, and HRS production the second highest in the state’s long history. This year, we harvested 50 million more bushels of spring wheat than winter wheat. Lower planted acreage early in the year in North Dakota and Minnesota had markets nervous, but increased acreage in Montana, and high yields across the 3-state region actual brought us higher production in 2020 than 2019. We saw a very healthy durum crop in the state as well, also reaching the 2nd highest production Montana has ever seen. Last fall brought early snowstorms and lower winter wheat acres thanks to Mother Nature, but a 51 bushels per acre yield helped maintain overall production. The biggest change we see from the June report is in barley acreage, and that should be mainly attributed to Covid19, and a lot of force majeure and changes to a crop that is normally contracted.


The harvest troubles of 2019 were very difficult in Montana, and even with all the challenges 2020 has brought, it is great to see a successful production year for our producers. Thank you for all your hard work!


-Executive Director Cassidy Marn


How Montana Production Compares to U.S Production

Montana continues to see increases in production shares of major small grains in the United States. 21% of the U.S production of spring is grown in Montana highest since 1999. Durum grown also accounts for 39% of U.S production, in 1990, 4%. Montana grown barley now accounts for 28% of U.S barley production which is the highest it has ever been.

While other states grow more corn, small grains continue to be a mainstay in the treasure state. Our quality continues to be the best in the country if not the world. Montana State Universities small grains breeding programs have proven to maintain high milling, baking, malting parameters with improved yields.

It is all about quality when it comes to producing small grains. Trade agreements and overseas relationships are the lifeblood of Montana. Through the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee producers have invested in research and market development for over 50 years. These figures are a testament to the importance of this industry in our state.





To view the full September small grains summary, click the PDF’s below.

If you need help sourcing wheat and barley ingredients for your business, we would love to help. We will connect you with several options that provide numerous methods of delivery. All our wheat and barley suppliers can conduct negotiations virtually to fit your country or states regulations if needed, otherwise social distancing is not a problem out here =)

-MWBC Team




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Documents to download

  • Small Grains Summary(.pdf, 613.59 KB) - 16 download(s)

  • Barley(.pdf, 386.92 KB) - 12 download(s)

  • Durum(.pdf, 387.53 KB) - 14 download(s)

  • HRS(.pdf, 388.26 KB) - 17 download(s)

  • hrw(.pdf, 321.55 KB) - 19 download(s)

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